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September 13, 2001 Concordia admissions climb by 12 per cent





by Barbara Black

New admissions to undergraduate programs are higher than ever at Concordia this year — 12 per cent higher than this time last year.

Registrar Lynne Prendergast reports that the biggest increase is in Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, a whopping 23-per-cent rise over last year.

The increases are in programs in electrical and computer engineering and computer science. Dean Nabil Esmail said he had expected that interest in these fields would have hit a plateau, but it continues to climb — “and the double cohort is still to come.” The population bulge that will result from Ontario’s discontinuation of Grade 13 is bound to be felt by its neighboring provinces of Quebec and Manitoba, he said.

Esmail said that new rules by Quebec allow the faculty to borrow beyond its operating budget if more money is needed to provide for the extra students. Fortunately, 25 new faculty members have been hired, bringing the total to 125, just in time to cope with an overall 12-per-cent increase in ENCS students. “The real crisis is in space downtown,” he added. (See Classrooms, page 10.)

The Faculty of Arts and Science is enjoying a 14-per-cent increase in new undergraduates over last fall. Programs that show substantial increases include exercise science (over 50 per cent above an unexpectedly low enrolment last year), political science (a big program that saw a 40-per-cent increase), mathematics (31 per cent), sociology and anthropology (30 per cent), geography (16 per cent; urban studies, part of the department, grew by 38 per cent), English (13 per cent) and history (8 per cent).

Teaching English as a Second Language welcomes 41 new students to its re-opened BEd program. However, physics, which had 33 new students last fall, admitted no new students, as admissions to the program have been suspended.

The John Molson School of Business, which continues to raise the bar in terms of admission standards, posted a slight drop this year of two per cent. However, Dean Jerry Tomberlin explained that in terms of total numbers of students taking business courses, there is a 2-per-cent increase, owing to the number of returning students who transfer into business programs, and those who take popular business courses as electives. “In any case,” Tomberlin said, “we’re operating at capacity — bursting at the seams.”

Fine Art shows an increase in new undergraduate admissions of six per cent. All of these figures are subject to change, as registration continues and other adjustments are made.

There has been a healthy surge in the number of new undergraduate students whose fees go directly to the university instead of being remitted to the Quebec government for inclusion in the operating grant.

FTEs (full-time-equivalent students) in so-called privatized programs have risen 29 per cent over last year across the university. The School of Business showed a 17-per-cent increase in privatized FTEs, and Arts and Science, a 34-per-cent increase.

Put another way, there were 121 new international students in Arts and Science programs at this time last year, but this year, there are 187. Donald Chambers, who manages enrolment for Arts and Science, said the credit for this jump goes to more aggressive international recruitment, exposure to the university’s web site, and excellent coordination among Concordia’s marketers, admissions staff, academic advisors and others.“It’s a huge effort from the whole university.”